The Dow snapped a three-day winning streak and finished 173 points lower on Tuesday.
With news about trade wars, recessions and economic stimulus abating for the time being, investors are now waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole on Friday to see if he can help boost the market again.
Investors will watch Powell’s speech closely Friday morning for signs of further interest rate cuts and his assessment of the US economy.
Expectations for a September rate cut are at 100%, with a 95% chance for a quarter percentage point cut, according to the CME FedWatch tool. That’s up from 90% at the start of the day. Although these high expectations suggest another rate cut is already priced in, stocks could rally if Powell sounds dovish on Friday.
President Donald Trump tweeted Monday that the Fed should cut rates by “at least” one percentage point. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that the central bank needed to be proactive.
Before Powell takes the stage, Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles will give a speech after the Tuesday market close. The minutes of the July Fed meeting, where the central bank cut rates by a quarter percentage point for the first time since 2008, come out on Wednesday.
With all this waiting in the wings, demand for safer assets will likely remain high.
The 10-year US Treasury yield once again fell Tuesday, reversing Monday’s rally, and is sitting around 1.5%.
Elsewhere, China signaled further action to boost its economy, with Liu Guoquiang, the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, saying there was room for rate cuts. Beijing’s economic health is crucial for global growth.
European stocks, including the pan-European Stoxx 600 (SXXP) index, finished in the red amid more trouble in Italian politics. The prime minister of the eurozone’s third largest economy, Giuseppe Conte, told the Italian Senate he would resign, threatening fresh elections and renewed uncertainty.
If Italy goes back to the polls, “a win by the center-right might prove more market friendly than the current government, but the prospect of a populist win would lead to a bumpy ride for Italian assets,” said Matteo Ramenghi, chief investment officer for Italy at UBS Global Wealth Management.
Last year, troubles surrounding Italian politics and the country’s financial health led to stock market woes across the world.